Rev. Jesse Jackson: Spanking kids “may be a matter of degree”

American civil rights activist and Baptist minister Reverend Jesse Jackson was invited onto The Agenda to share his thoughts on the Adrian Peterson situation after the Minnesota Vikings running back was recently arrested for child abuse when he hit his 4-year-old son with a switch.

While there was mostly outrage over the incident, professional basketball player Charles Barkley said on live television that it is normal for people in the South to whip their children, opening up a debate over whether any corporal punishment is okay.

“I think it may be a matter of degree, spanking versus beating is a little different. That may be the extreme in the Adrian Peterson case,” Jackson said. “My mother used to beat me with a switch. Worst case scenario she used to make me put the switch together … But it never became extreme. There was never any blood drawn. Never the kind of thing like in this case.”

Adding that spanking, when used in a form of discipline, can be okay, Jackson added, “It’s all about how you handle love. When love dominates the action it works. If there is hostility, it does not work.”

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